Jacqueline Finley: Show some dignity, Mr. President
I never liked Trump, either as a president or as a person, and I am glad he has been dethroned. His personal behavior offended me nearly as much as his inability to act as a competent, insightful, and gracious leader, and as he — I hope — slowly fades into the sunset, his time in the White House will eventually be regarded as an aberration in American history and not a part of the essence of the country’s spirit.
As I write, Trump is refusing to concede.
Going against tradition and common decency, he is again deciding that his needs come first. If he continues to tear apart the nation, so be it. He will manipulate and bully to get what he wants. In this case, he does not want to be perceived as a loser, either in the country’s history or in his own egotistical mind.
Trump is, however, only one weak individual. He gets his so-called power from the numerous Republican officials around him, both elected and in his inner circle, who enable and cater to this boy king. I am convinced many recognize that Trump is ridiculous, even immoral, yet they humor him and his antics for their own political and personal aims. While some have abandoned ship, others continue to believe that they can gain something from circling around the Trump machine, even as it spins into infamy. They are selling their souls for the hope of some power or prestige.
How did the United States get to such a low ebb that a president can hinder the democratic process by trying to nullify a legal election simply to satisfy his own fragile self? How has he been able to court enough minions to allow him to do so? Trump has tapped into the worst in people, much as past dictators have done, by massaging their egos and promising a future where they will find tangible, social, and political prizes that are nearly unattainable to the average American.
A television commentator recently stated that it is past time for Trump to “put on his big boy pants” and act in a manner conductive to true leadership. As several one-term presidents and also-ran candidates have had the integrity to do, he needs to swallow his enormous sense of self-worth and say, “I lost.” His supporters and inner circle members need to acknowledge that fact, too, and accept that it is time to end Trump’s reign and return to what they were elected or hired to do: effectively run the entire country and look out for the welfare of every American.
Embarrassment is still hanging over the United States, but after Biden’s election it is focused more on Trump and some of his Republican cohorts and less on the country. The voters, bless them, have spoken and said, “Enough is enough.” Dragging out the inevitable only makes Trump look more immature, emphasizing why a leadership change is vital. As writer James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” We all — including Trump — need to face the fact that his time is over and that a new direction is coming.
Biden and Harris have a long, difficult road ahead of them. Their supporters, while cheering their win, will soon want to see immediate miracles. Conservatives and enduring Trump backers will battle the new administration members and undoubtedly refuse to follow many of their directives. The glow of the recent victory will fade, and reality will take over. When that happens, Trump’s petulance and whining need to be only a bad memory and not an obstacle to a prosperous and unified future.
Can he grow up in time to show some dignity and grace, or will his last months in office reflect only a flawed and vindictive character? We will soon find out.
Jacqueline Finley lives in Grass Valley.
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